There is a new PGA Tour cut rule for the 2019-2020 season, which begins this week at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.
Gone are the days of the top 70 and ties making the weekend after a 36-hole cut, and so, too, is the secondary cut (MDF) after the third round when 78 or more players make the cut. Now, the PGA Tour cut rule is down to the top 65 and ties, like they have used for years on the Korn Ferry Tour. There is no longer a secondary cut for any reason.
When the players were working through how they would change the PGA Tour cut rule, there was some discussion of what to do with the extra purse allocation (approximately 1 percent of the prize pool) and whether to change the total distribution of the purse to give high finishes a bigger cut of the money. As it turns out, the PGA Tour prize money distribution didn’t change dramatically under the new system.
The PGA Tour players chose not to simply adopt the Korn Ferry Tour purse distribution, which smartly gives more money to players at the lower end of the cut scale because there is less money available overall and every dollar counts when trying to pay for a long season of travel on a budget.
A PGA Tour winner still makes 18 percent of the purse. Finishers in the top five now get 0.1 percent more of the total purse, with second getting 10.9 percent and on downward to 4.1 percent for fifth. That extra money trickles all the way down to 65th place, which now gets 0.215 percent of the purse instead of 0.21 percent. While that doesn’t seem like a lot on a percentage basis, that’s a $500 pay hike for 65th place in a $10 million purse. It’s a nice little bonus.
However, the FedEx Cup points distribution table did not change for the new season, meaning the same points are awarded to players regardless of the purse. While extra money is a good thing, as is a potentially less-cluttered weekend tee sheet, the FedEx Cup points are what matters most in determining a player’s status for next season. That hasn’t changed at all.